Monday, April 1, 2013

The Write Exercise?

Writing exercises our minds but doesn't offer much in the way of bodily activity, does it? Sure, ideas pop up when we're not sitting at the computer. Who hasn't come up with an idea while in the shower or when running errands? The actual writing part, however, usually has us parked at the keyboard.

Moving is essential for good circulation. Even short bursts of activity get the blood flowing, which provides a double bonus - for mind and body. We think and feel better, and have more to offer our loved ones.

What can we do to balance the sedentary aspect of writing?  

  • Get ample rest. This is a given, but how many of us ignore this basic advice? I do, and need to take note.
  • Eat right. Yup, another given, but when we neglect a proper diet, it catches up with us. You are what you eat. Yes, indeed.
  • Exercise. Given #3! From hitting the gym, to walking or running, to the exercise DVD, light weights, and more, there are a myriad of options from which to choose.
  • Maintain a "motion mindset". Recognize that in order to achieve our best writing results, regular activity helps keep us healthy and alert.

How can we stay loose and relieve tension when we sit and write? 

  • Take regular breaks. Even a trip to the laundry room or mailbox can stretch muscles and get the blood moving. Take a brief walk around the house or yard, march in place, or scale the stairs a few times.
  • Stand up. I read an article recently about how standing (versus sitting) is better for optimum  circulation. Consider getting one of those standing desks, or take your laptop or note pad and pen, set it on the kitchen counter, and work there for a change. Stand, or better yet, pace back and forth, when you're on the phone.
  • Keep moving, even when sitting. Pause when writing to change position, wave or rotate arms, scrunch shoulders up and down, or turn head from left to right. Or invest in the exercise equipment pictured above. :)
  • Be your own masseuse/masseur. Massage your scalp, forehead, or temples, neck, and/or shoulders, using gentle pressure or kneading in a circular motion to relieve tension and increase blood flow.
  • Stay hydrated. Did you know that dehydration can cause headaches? Keeping a healthy beverage handy, whether writing or not, is an easy preventative measure. 

Whether exercising our bodies or minds, it doesn't take much to make a big difference.

The Winner! 

Congratulations to Susie Dietze, the winner of last week's book giveaway, Bundle of Joy, by Annie Jones! Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

A Special Event

I invite you to stop by Thursday, April 4 for a special post for Susan J. Reinhardt's blog tour for The Moses Conspiracy. It should be fun; Susan will share a little about her journey to publication.

How is your "motion mindset"? What steps do you take to be an active writer?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Stock Exchange


  1. This is PERFECT advice!!! Gonna tweet it.

  2. Yes, drink a lot of water, folks! It's good for you.

  3. Laura,
    Thank you! Enjoyed your post today too. :) Great story!

    Oh yeah, it surely is! Thanks for chiming in! :)

    Happy writing,

  4. As you know, I'm not a writer, but your points are still good for me since I sit at a desk all day for work.


  5. Sadly, my writing breaks usually consist of social media checks! But sometimes, I'll spread out a yoga mat and do a few moves to clear my mind.

  6. I can't sit still for long, which works to my advantage. I would love to have those little cycles under my computer desk though.

  7. You know Karen, I've often thought about the exercise mechanisms for under a desk. I spend a lOT of time sitting while writing.

    I wonder what you would CALL them or where you'd BUY them. Do you know?

    Nice to see your post. Susan

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoy writing tips, and I am a writer, but with kids constantly around me I don't have much time to sit and write (kids count as exercise right?), but I stick with shorter manuscripts, like PB and board books.

    Kids Math Teacher

  9. I used to be a very 'still' sort of person, unless I was walking about, doing some work that required me to move! But some time back my condition and my orthopaedics insistence and warnings, got me doing these little exercises. Thank you for sharing. I had become a bit slothful lately, and this has been a wake-up call.

  10. Barb,
    You're right - it applies to anyone who sits a lot. Moving is a good thing! :)

    I know, I get caught doing that too! We need like a version of Facebook that is connected to a stationary bike or :)

    I get restless too. It depends on what I'm working on too. I'm trying to think what those things are called! :)

    If I can think of what they are called I will let you know. I think my mother in law bought one from QVC some time ago. :)

    You are welcome! I enjoyed my stop at your blog, and it's great to meet you! Yes, kids definitely count as exercise! :)

    Glad you found this useful. I've been more sedentary through the winter and am looking forward to getting out more now that spring is here. :)

    Happy writing,

  11. These are all great ideas--thanks for the comprehensive list, Karen!

    I try to stand up while writing letters or checks; I guess I should think about moving my laptop to the kitchen counter when I want to write!

  12. I like to limit my time at the computer. Besides that, there is always laundry buzzing or some quick errand to do to interrupt my sitting. You listed some very good suggestions.

  13. I usually have plenty of family interruptions that get me up and away from my computer. But for those times when I don't (late at night) I'm guilty of sitting for hours before I force myself to move about. On the up side, I start my day with 2-3 miles on the treadmill (I read while I walk) and that gets my metabolism in gear. :)

  14. Oh, how thrilled I am to have a built-in husband! Seriously. I keep telling him, "If this financial thing (he's a finance advisor) ever doesn't work out, you can have a second career." :)

    Anyway, excellent pointers. My day job ISN'T writing, but typing, as you know. So these would all fit anyway.

    Good stuff, Karen, as always!

  15. Thanks for the helpful hints, Karen. I need to follow your advice.

  16. My body tells me when it needs to move. I set the timer and race down the basement steps, then back up for 150 seconds. I do that a few times a days. Thank goodness spring is here. I'd much rather garden.

    Great points, Karen. Congratulations to Susie!

  17. Timely reminders, Karen--thanks! I've collected different descriptions of good exercises for those of us at the keyboard a lot, but do I heed them often enough? Nope. I do sit too long at a time, and know I should drink more water, but...

    It's a new month. Time to get serious!

  18. Wonderful tips, Karen! I try to exercise and drink a lot of water, but I also periodically rest my eyes by looking around the room or closing them briefly. :-)

  19. Jen,
    You are welcome! :) That's a good idea; I need to do more standing.

    Something's always buzzing isn't it? lol Seems that some days are more interrupted than others, but it does help keep us moving!

    So you have interruptions too? Some days I feel like it's "Interruption Central" around here. :)

    Now you are one blessed woman! My daughter is the resident masseuse around here. Not sure what I'll do when she moves out! :)

    You are welcome! Maybe we'll all get moving more. :)

    Mine usually does too, unless I ignore it while immersed in a project. :) Yes, glad spring is here!

    Glad you liked it! I should look up more of those exercises! Yes, time for a fresh start, I agree!

    That's a good point! I've seen where there are eye exercises as well. Glad you brought that up, thanks! :)

    Happy writing,

  20. Wonderful advice. Somewhere in the few years, I stopped having a motion mindset, and I'm trying to regain that habit again. I'm on vacation now, skiing every day, so for the next several days I won't have to work to be active, but when I get home I plan to pull out the old exercise ball and use that as my exercise chair.

  21. Thanks Karen. ALl great advice here today.

    Congrats to winners.


  22. Thank you! I learned a lot from this post. I will take your tips to heart and practice. Carol

  23. Tyrean,
    Thanks so much. Now that spring is here I need to get moving more too. Have fun on your vacation! :)

    You are welcome. It's always good to have your input. :)

    It's nice to meet you! Thanks so much for coming by and becoming a follower. I'm glad this was helpful! :)

    Happy writing,

  24. great post! we definitely need to think about our physical health since we sit most of the day!


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!